It is easy to confuse the typical symptoms of dengue with the symptoms of other common diseases. So, how can you tell the difference between dengue, Chikungunya, malaria, Zika or other viruses like flu or even COVID-19?
Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika are caused by viruses that can be passed on by the same type of mosquito, which usually bites during the day.1 Malaria is also transmitted by mosquitoes but is caused by parasites. These diseases can all cause a range of symptoms that may include fever, headaches, muscle, and joint pain.
Flu and COVID-19 can also cause these symptoms in the early stages of infection. However, other symptoms of COVID-19 which are different to dengue may include cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, and diarrhea.2 You can catch flu and COVID-19 from exposure to someone else with the virus, not from mosquito bites.
This table shows you some of the most characteristic symptoms caused by the diseases mentioned above, though many common illnesses have the same, sometimes milder symptoms.
As you can see, these diseases can have similar symptoms so are difficult to diagnose by yourself. If you think you might have dengue, speak to your doctor. Confirming whether you have dengue or something else will help you get the right treatment.